INDIA. Mumbai: On Friday, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the progress of seven defence production companies carved out of the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) on the completion of one year since their inception.
These companies had begun operations from October 1, 2021, onwards before they were formally dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Vijayadashami on October 15, 2021.
In a meeting held in New Delhi Singh highlighted that an emphasis is being placed by the Defense Ministry on reducing import dependency to become self-reliant and said that the aim of the Defense Public Sector Units (DPSUs) is to contribute towards increasing exports. He also exhorted DPSUs to develop the latest technologies.
The Ministry has set a target of achieving a turnover of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025, which includes exports of Rs 35,000 crore, an official statement read.
Similarly, an amount of Rs 2,953 crore has been allotted to these companies in the form of equity during the Financial Years 2021–22 and 2022–23 for modernization, and a further amount of Rs 6,270 crore is being released up to 2026–27 for capital expenditure.
In addition, an amount of Rs 3,750 crore has been released in the form of an Emergency Authorization Fund.
Within a six-month period (October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022), these companies generated a turnover of over Rs 8,400 crore, which is significant given the value of the erstwhile OFB issued in previous fiscal years.
For the financial year 2022–23, these DPSUs have a projected cumulative sales target of approx. Rs 17,000 crore.
Besides, during the last year, these companies obtained domestic orders of over Rs 7,200 crore. Some of the significant achievements of the new companies were: Munitions India Limited (MIL) obtained export orders worth Rs 1,500 crore for various types of ammunition.
The MIL has been able to successfully test-fire new variants of Pinaka Rocket: Pinaka Mk-I (Extended Range) and dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM).
It has also successfully developed 40 mm UBGL ammunition, a 500 kg general purpose bomb, and 76/62 SRGM HEDA ammunition.
Gliders India Limited (GIL) obtained orders for the export of parachutes. Yantra India Limited (YIL) has received orders worth more than Rs. 300 crore from non-defense markets such as Indian Railways.Troop Comforts Limited (TCL) has developed items like Bullet Proof Jackets, Ballistic Helmets, ECWCS, etc. to enter a niche market and sustain its business in the long run.
Similarly, the Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVNL) has developed a new variant of a mine-protected vehicle designed for the CRPF, which may be useful for other armed forces as well. Advanced Weapons & Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) has received an order for the supply of JVPC carbines to the Delhi Police.
The India Optel Limited (IOL) has developed tank driver night sights, a first in Fusion Imaging technology.
While India is moving fast towards becoming a 5 trillion dollar economy, the country’s defence exports have increased 5–6 times to Rs 13,000 crore as compared to the last 7–8 years, Singh noted.
Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, and senior officials of the Ministry of Defence were present at the meeting.